Loved Dave Shulman’s thoroughly well-written and entertaining look at UCLA dorm life circa 1980 [“Welcome to the Dungeon,” Dec. 1–7]. I spent those very same years up the hill on Hedrick Hall’s “4 South” floor. We had much in common with Dykstra’s Dungeonites. Our rather unrefined all-male residents chose the moniker “The En4cers,” — complete with a T-shirt logo featuring a drawing of some chick’s shapely ass sitting squarely in the cross-hairs of a rifle scope. On the back it said, “Do You Feel Lucky Today?”
Like the Dungeon, our floor included young men with colorful nicknames: Brown Thunder, Spud, TV Bob.
And many of us kept in touch. I just spent the afternoon with about 15 of these guys watching the UCLA-USC football game. Here’s how it ended:
One minute left. Bruins up by four. USC on the move. A UCLA interception ices the win — delightfully wrecking the Trojans’ season and triggering a surge of adrenaline, camaraderie and unrestrained joy in that room the likes of which I haven’t felt since we watched a Hedrick Hall urinal explode back in ’81. (Sorry!)
Dungeonites. The En4cers. Middle-aged men now. Kids forever. Life-changing friendships randomly born amid those dank dorm hallways.
All of us somewhat flawed, but, hey, at least we didn’t just blow a shot at the national title.
I have, however, produced several movies of the week, and I received an Emmy and a Golden Globe for producing The Winds of War and War and Remembrance, a 50-hour-plus miniseries that covered all of World War II and the events leading up to it.
Mr. Ehrenstein quotes me as saying, “We [Brits] have this rapturous life here.” Although I may have been discussing the beautiful California light, I don’t believe the word “rapturous” adequately reflects my views. For everyone I know who left their native country to live in Los Angeles, there continues a deep nostalgia; our birthplace is where our essential selves were formed.
As beautiful as L.A. is, Europe has and will always have a very powerful hold on me.
As a seasoned member of the theater community, I need to disagree with your recent review of Carrie Fisher’s Wishful Drinking [“O, Mein Mama,” Dec. 1–7]. My companion and I found her performance honest, entertaining and far from just a few “aphoristic observations.” You may be interested to know that the night we saw the show, Ms. Fisher received a standing ovation from her audience.
If you’ve ever had the challenge of holding an audience’s attention for a whole performance evening, you would appreciate and admire Ms. Fisher’s talent to do just that.
Loved Dan Savage’s wild, nasty, crazy column about Ted Haggard [“Savage Love,” Nov. 17–23]. Sad to say, you can’t find this stuff in the mainstream press, which is just as well; they’ve proven themselves worthless.
Oh, please! Nikki Finke a “crotchety columnist” [Letters, Dec. 1–7]? She’s one of the best writers out there. She’s a realist! Her movie commentary doesn’t pander to Hollywood, she doesn’t kiss celebrity butt (e.g., her column on Gibson) and she nailed it on comedy clubs. If you’ve been to a club lately, they are cesspools, and that includes comedians of all races. Last week she exposed the screenwriter’s dilemma [“Screenwriters in the Shit,” Dec. 1–7], and it wasn’t pretty. In a world of journalistic pap, her articles make people think. She doesn’t owe anyone an apology.